Home' Inclean : INCLEAN May-Jun 2015 Contents 32 INCLEAN May/June 2015
Established in 1970,Nationwide Health
and Aged Care Services is one of the
leading providers of cleaning and laundry
in Australia’s residential aged care facilities.
The family run business was purchased in
2010 by Australian Home Care Services Pty
Ltd (AHC), a not-for-profit subsidiary of
Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MSL).
AHC was established in 1986 by MSL to develop a revenue stream
to pay for research into a cure for multiple sclerosis and advocate
for people with the disease. In 1998 AHC was incorporated into
a separate entity and now employs more than 3,300 people across
Australia in its three divisions – Nationwide, Community Care and
Healthcare at Home.
“It’s an exciting time for Nationwide as we are moving into a new
time of growth,” commented Chris Joyce, Nationwide’s executive
general manager. “And we have a lot of new key people coming on
board to reach that platform of growth.” Joyce joined the Nationwide
team in December 2014 but has already grasped the passion and
purpose to drive the company into its next phase of development.
One of the major changes taking place is the joint partnership
with Bill Bassett at Interclean Australasia. “We are overhauling our
cleaning processes to Interclean’s microfibre trolley system, which is
more environmentally focused and enables us to be more dynamic in
our approach with clients,” Joyce explained. “We’ll also be able to do
live auditing – something that Nationwide has never done previously.”
The new system is currently being rolled out across three sites per
week across the country.
Joyce admits these significant changes have been implemented quite
quickly as they want their clients to know they are moving forward
with technology and processes to improve their service outcomes and
working relationships. “We are excited about the partnership with
Interclean and I find Bill has the same passion and values to make
the change enjoyable,” he remarked. “The added benefit is that he
understands the process of infection control and he does it well.
“We sat down with the board and talked about what we need to
do to make this happen and the truth is that you have to spend a lot
of money to get it off the ground but the result is worth it,” Joyce
revealed. “We have a business improvement team moving forward
with Interclean to implement these changes.
“The process we have in place is that the day-today operations
continue and there’s a team beside them training the staff in the
new operating systems so it doesn’t effect service delivery or client
expectations. It’s quite an aggressive approach as we want to do this
in 18 months. It’s easy to change the tools but it’s the processes and
application that is more important. It comes back to best practices.
There’s more to this picture than just
another commercial service provider
and INCLEAN’s editor, Kim Taranto,
met with Nationwide Health and
Aged Care Services’ executive general
manager, Chris Joyce, to uncover
the charitable mission that takes place
behind the scenes.
Nationwide’s commitment to care goes
far beyond the service of cleaning
Chris Joyce (front centre) with Nationwide’s Melbourne operations team
“We have strategically looked for like-minded companies with
similar core values to work together on innovative processes and we’ve
done this with our laundry processes too,” he added. “Currently
Nationwide is the largest laundry service suppliers in aged care
in Australia and the next step is asking why we can’t do grounds
maintenance, catering or other integrated services? So our goal is to
move into other facility services during the next 12 months.”
When asked what sets Nationwide apart from other aged care
service providers, Joyce said confidently, “We self deliver and as part
of brand protection it’s important we do that to look after our staff.
In our market of specifically aged care, there are not many other
companies that do self deliver; they do a blend of sub-contracting but
we don’t do that because we care and look after our people.
“I think it’s a point of difference; if you want to be an employer of
choice you’ve got to offer people an opportunity,” he added. “Working
for a not-for-profit organisation offers benefit but it also offers security
of tender instead of the corporate process. We deliver an outcome
to invest money into research for multiple sclerosis. And that is more
worthwhile than just working for a pay check.”
One of the reasons Joyce joined Nationwide is because everyone in
the business is focused with a charitable mindset. Coming from a large
cleaning contractor as ISS, Joyce immediately noticed the different in
the intimate working environment Nationwide has with its customers.
“We can move closer to our client without intimidation,” he revealed.
“And there’s flexibility; the client can have one service or the whole
suite that we offer, but the key is to let the client choose the direction
of their business and work with them as a long-term partner.”
Testament to this is feedback Joyce received from one of their clients,
Catholic Healthcare. “They told me that what impresses them the most is
that our staff think and act like they are their staff when they are working
for them and it makes us understand just how important our staff are,” he
stated. “We are in a business where our staff are like family members.
“It’s a different energy here because we have all these people working
together to figure out how we can do it better for MS. It makes us
feel good about what we do,” Joyce exclaimed. “Of course there’s a
commercial side to it, but we know if we make an extra dollar or grow
the business, we know it goes towards supporting a great cause.”
In fact, Nationwide is looking at taking on a more appropriate
mission statement to identify its commitment to the MS cause as it’s
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